22 Nov 2020
The best Welsh cheese and wine pairings
28 Jul 2020
Cheese and wine can be a match made in heaven – or Wales, if you know where to look.
Originally brought to Wales by the Romans, the art of winemaking was reintroduced in 1875, when the country’s first commercial vineyard was planted near Castell Coch for Lord Bute. But World War I ended UK wine production, and winemaking didn’t return to Wales until the 1970s. Today, the Welsh wine industry is booming, with almost 30 vineyards across Wales.
To celebrate Welsh Wine Week, here are some simple tips for planning your own cheese and wine tasting, plus five Welsh wines to pair with our delicious Welsh cheeses.
Quick and easy tips for cheese and wine pairings
- White wines are easier to pair with cheese than reds
- For soft cheese, opt for a crisp, dry white – the acidity will cut through the richness
- For hard cheese, consider red – it can stand up to bold flavours
- Blue and strong cheeses go well with sweet wine
Our top Welsh wines to pair with cheese
Chardonnay 2018, Ancre Hill Estates
Monmouth-based Ancre Hill Estates creates a range of organic wines from their south-facing vineyards, from sparkling rosé to pinot noir. We recommend pairing their 2018 Chardonnay with a creamy Brie or Camembert-style cheese, such as Angiddy, Cenarth Brie or Perl Wen – or the Gouda-style Teifi Natural.
Solaris 2018, Montgomery Vineyards
The zesty Solaris 2018 from Montgomery Vineyards in Powys won silver at the 2019 Welsh Wine Awards and pairs beautifully with a good Caerffili such as Thelma Caerffili, Teifi Caerphilly or Cenarth Caerffili; or, alternatively, a fresh goat’s cheese – we’d opt for Tysilio or Pant-Ys-Gawn.
Pinot Noir Reserve 2017, White Castle Vineyard
The harder the cheese, the better it can cope with big, bold tannins, which is why we’d pair White Castle Vineyard’s award-winning Pinot Noir Reserve 2017 with a strong Cheddar. We love Pwll Mawr Mature Cheddar by Blaenafon Cheddar Company; their shop in Blaenafon is just half an hour’s drive from White Castle Vineyard.
Vintage sparkling rosé 2017, Glyndŵr
Halloumi may not be the first cheese that comes to mind when you’re planning a cheese and wine pairing, but it deserves its place on your plate. For a summery combo, try a slice or two of salty Teifi Organic Halloumi (ideal for the barbecue) with a sparkling rosé from Glyndŵr Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan, the oldest and largest vineyard in Wales.
Telor Y Coed, Mountain Mead
Not technically a wine, mead (sometimes called honey wine) is made by fermenting honey, not grapes. But this medium sweet mead from Mountain Mead, made in North Wales, perfectly compliments the tangy, salty flavours of blue cheese: our favourites include Perl Las and Mon Las.